The Unfinished Angel by Sharon Creech
My rating: 1 of 5 stars
This story is told from the point of view of an angel who is hundreds of years old and living quite peacefully in a tower of a house in the Alps until a family moves in. Zola and her father are Americans who move to Switzerland to get a fresh start; her father plans to open a boarding school. The angel isn’t used to people being able to see it, so it’s startled when Zola addresses it when she enters the tower.
The angel and Zola become wary friends; Zola often asks it questions it doesn’t know the answer to (are you a boy angel or a girl angel?; where are your wings?; etc.). As time passes, Zola and the angel get more used to each other. Zola begins asking the angel to help her with things; most importantly, Zola has discovered a group of orphans living in an old shed. The angel wonders what it can do to help; it seems uncertain of its role as an angel. What it can do, however, is send a sort of feeling/image into the heads of the local adults that will make them want to help the children and, alternatively, it can send feelings/images into the heads of the orphan children that will make them feel better. Will this be enough to save these children?
This is a gentle story that readers will be sure to remember. The angel is so innocent; it doesn’t even know how to properly pronounce certain words although it’s been around so long. Zola can be bossy, but her heart is in the right place. Readers who enjoyed this might also enjoy Beyond the Station Lies the Sea (Richter).
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